With alliances firmed up, Dravidian rivals hit campaign trail

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 07, 2016 16:18 hrs
Karunanidhi, Jayalalitha​

Chennai:  With political parties in Tamil Nadu finalising their alliances for the April 13 assembly polls, the scene has now shifted to the campaign trail and arch Dravidian rivals - the ruling DMK and AIADMK - are seeking to reach out to people with manifestos promising freebies galore.

Among the freebies the parties have announced are grinders, mixies, fans, educational assistance and special schemes which are expected to touch a chord with the voters.

The leaders of the rival parties -- DMK President and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and AIADMK General Secretary Jayalalithaa, have also launched their campaign.

Hitting the campaign trial on Wednesday from Tiruvarur, Karunanidhi said the DMK-led alliance, which includes Congress, was not linked by the "desire for position", but by principles and ethos.

Karunanidhi appealed to the people to vote for the DMK for continuation of 'good governance' and claimed that AIADMK's manifesto would not impress the people.

Karunanidhi is contesting from Tiruvarur, his native town, shifting from Chepauk in Chennai, in what could be perhaps the last polls for the 86-year-old leader.

On the other hand, Jayalalithaa, who is contesting from the temple town of Srirangam, commenced her campaign a day later, promising that the state would become an 'economic power' if her party was voted to power.

She attacked the ruling DMK, alleging there was 'jungle rule' in the state devoid of law and order and also referred to the 2 G spectrum scam and said it had lowered the state's image.

Both Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa are expected to campaign for their party candidates till April 11.

While the DMK leadership is keen to reach out to the voters on the populist schemes which it has impelemented in the past five years, AIADMK will focus on issues such as 2G spectrum scam, power cuts, soaring prices and illegal sand mining.

Both the leaders are using specially designed vehicles for campaigning.

S Ramadoss of PMK and T Thirumavalavan (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi), both DMK allies, and Actor Vijayakant, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam founder and constituent of the AIADMK-led front, have also launched their respective parties' campaign.

Unlike in the past when huge cut-outs of leaders used to be erected in every nook and corner, there are hardly any this time around following the Election Commission strict regulations against grafitti and posters.

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